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Warlords is an arcade game released by Atari, Inc. in 1980, with the 2600 version released in 1981. The game resembles a combination of Breakout and Quadrapong (an early Atari arcade game) in the sense that not only can up to 4 players play the game at the same time, but also the "forts" in the four corners of the screen are brick walls that could be broken with a flaming ball.
Warlords is a battle between four warlords, 1-4 of which can be controlled by the player(s). Each fort is distinguished by a different color, the four original colors being orange, green, turquoise blue, and purple. The goal of the game is for one player to break down the walls of the surrounding warlords and destroy the icon at the center (crown for human controlled, dark lord mask for computer AI). This is accomplished by bouncing a fireball off of a cursor that the player moves around the outer layer of their castle. The fireball can also be held by pushing a "Power stone" button, at the cost of slowly deteriorating the player's own walls. When an opponent's icon is destroyed it releases another fire ball onto the game field. The last player with their icon intact will be awarded a point bonus. A game ends when all human players are eliminated.
The 2600 version of Warlords is often cited as one of the more popular Atari 2600 titles by classic video gamers, and was voted the 25th greatest video game in the 100th issue of Game Informer (August 2001 issue).[ The 2600 port was written by Carla Meninsky, one of the two female game designers to work for Atari in the early 1980s. According to Meninsky, the development of the 2600 version preceded development of the arcade version.